« Football 2017

Blaise Taylor

School

Arkansas State

Position
Cornerback/Return Specialist
Major
Business Administration

Classroom

Research indicates that Blaise Taylor is the only current FBS player in the nation to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees before the start of his true senior season (two degrees in 3.5 years). He graduated magna cum laude in August 2016 and is a member of the Arkansas State University Chancellor’s List, Dean’s List, Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List. Taylor, was named a top-10 junior in the College of Business in 2015-16, and is also the recipient of the Strong-Turner 3.0 Society Award. He was one of just eight students to receive a prestigious Distinguished Service Award from Arkansas State University.

Character

Taylor embodies everything positive about collegiate athletics. His commitment to academics, athletics and serving others has set the standard for current and future students. He graduated with honors and has received a multitude of academic accolades, all while breaking school statistical records and helping lead the A-State football program to back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships. It’s no surprise his success in the classroom and on the field has reached a level that has caught the attention of the college football world. His hard work, dedication, time management and positive attitude have directly led to his many achievements. The sign of a true leader, Taylor makes those around him better – his teammates, his fellow students and even those in the community. He has created a non-profit organization (The Power of 1 and 2) to assist underprivileged at-risk children, serving as a testament to how much he desires to improve lives, communities and possibilities for the future.

Community

A two-time Wuerrfel Trophy Watch List member and 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominees, Taylor created a non-profit organization with his sister (Starr Taylor, a soph. on the Arkansas State women’s basketball team) called “The Power of 1 and 2” deisgned to work with underprivileged children. He is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has organized and coordinated student-athletes’ efforts to sponsor a child at Christmas by collecting monetary donations and purchasing gifts on the children’s Christmas lists.

He is also highly invested in working with at-risk youth, including participation at a local alternative school called Success Academy. He was recently a keynote speaker at the first-ever Annie Camp Junior High School football team’s “Mom’s Night.” Taylor has been a Special Olympics volunteer and participated in community health and wellness education events, as well as alcohol and drug awareness events. Additionally, he has been an Austism Walk participant, volunteered at local schools and churches for team community service projects and participated in “Feed the Children” event at the 2016 Cure Bowl. He was a “Make A Wish” participant for Brenten Cox and is a Word Campus Church member, where he has participated in community service events.

Competition

Taylor is a 2017 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference (first-team return specialist, second-team defensive back) and also on the 2017 Hornung Award Watch List. He also a 2017 Athlon, Phil Steele & College Sports Madness preseason first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection. A two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection (2016 second-team return specialist, 2014 second-team return specialist), Taylor has been named the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week three times (Nov. 7, 2016; Nov. 30, 2015; Nov. 17, 2014). He also has been named the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) national Punt Returner of the Week (Nov. 17, 2014).

Taylor stands as the A-State record holder for career punt return yards (844), which is also the second most in Sun Belt Conference history. He holds three of the top 10 marks in school history for punt return yards in a game. Taylor also holds three of the top 10 marks in school history for punt return yards in a season. He is the second all-time leader in Sun Belt Conference history for punt returns for a touchdown (4), while his 844 career punt return yards are the second most in the nation among active players.